Diarrhea in children – these tips really help!

Diarrhea is not only uncomfortable, but sometimes also very troubling, especially for small children. The pediatrician Dr. Nadine Hess clarifies the most important questions.

Diarrhea in children – says Dr. Nadine Hess:

Young children are particularly affected because their immune systems have not yet developed a defense against many possible causes of diarrhea and stomach problems. As a rule, these are viruses such as rota-, noro- or adenoviruses. However, parents should not panic if their child is infected.

Most importantly to treat diarrhea in children is to compensate for the loss of fluid. The best way to do this is with water and herbal or fruit teas – if necessary also slightly sweetened. Or with so-called rehydration solutions or powders, which are dissolved in water and are available over the counter in any pharmacy. These rehydration preparations contain various electrolytes that are lost to the body in the event of diarrhea, and in some cases also lactobacilli, the the Reconstruct disturbed intestinal flora faster and thus shorten the diarrhea time.

However, if this hardly helps or the diarrhea is very watery, you should always consult a doctor. If it is an infant or toddler, it is best within 24 hours. Even if there is a fever, very severe abdominal pain or blood in the stool, a doctor should be consulted – regardless of whether it is a child or an adult.

Diarrhea in children – dehydration is dangerous

If Diarrhea in children along with vomiting, the pediatrician will always look for signs of dehydration:

  • decreased skin turgor (if you lift the abdominal skin with two fingers, a "standing skin fold" remains when you let go if there is a lack of fluids),
  • sunken large fontanel,
  • dry mucous membranes (very dry mouth, hardly any tears),
  • no more urine production.

If the dehydration is so severe that one of the symptoms described occurs, the pediatrician will probably recommend hospitalization so that the missing fluid can be replaced by an infusion. Sometimes that is inevitable – but no need to worry too much. Diseases with rotaviruses simply lead to severe gastrointestinal infections with so much fluid loss in small children that hospitalization becomes necessary.

Diarrhea in children can be very worrying for parents. You should take special care to compensate for the lack of fluids and minerals. Photo: Fotolia

In the meantime, like the STIKO from the Robert Koch Institute, I recommend swallowing vaccinations, which are administered 2-3 times (depending on the preparation) every four weeks from the 8th week of life, and a serious infection with rotaviruses that occur in the hospital must be treated in more than 90 percent of cases. All insurance companies pay for this vaccination.

Diarrhea at Children must not with special healing food or special diets are treated. Of course, care should be taken to ensure that the stomach is not burdened with food that is difficult to digest and / or very high in fat. On the other hand, we recommend rusk, pretzel sticks, a grated apple, crushed bananas, mashed carrots and potatoes. The pectins contained in the grated apple, for example, swell stool and thus alleviate diarrhea.

Diarrhea in children – tablets help?

Medicines for diarrhea with active ingredients such as loperamide allowed to under no circumstances should it be used in children under two years of age and in children between 2-12 years only after a doctor’s prescription, because there are serious side effects.

Even in adults, taking such tablets is not always recommended. The reason: diarrhea is also a protective measure of the body to quickly get viruses or bacteria out of the body.

Tip for the holiday: The motto "cook it, peel it or forget it!" Applies to foreign food ("cook it, peel it or forget it!"). The well-known traveler’s diarrhea is usually caused by bacteria such as Salmonella, Campylobacter, Staphylococcus or Yersinia, which are killed during cooking.


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Christina Cherry
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